Monday, January 9, 2012

Veteran Copier Industry Guy feels that service pricing (the click charge) for 11 x 17 is unfair

I’m sure that most reprographers will find this article amusing!

The article you’ll find below was authored by a long-term veteran of the copier industry. My “take” on the article is that he does not like it – feels that it is unjust and unfair, when copier “service” clicks are the same exact rate for both 8 ½ x 11 and 11 x 17.

While I’m fairly positive that most reprographer are aware of this issue, perhaps some are not. Most copiers (the copy-count meters) can be set up to click “once” for 8 ½ x 11 and either once or twice for 11 x 17. Certainly, reprographers want their copier meters (with one minor exception, which I will later explain) to be set up to click “once” for 8 ½ x 11 and 11 x 17. C’mon, what reprographer would want to pay more than he/she has to?! Well, as I mentioned, there is an “exception” to this. For copiers at our production centers, they were set up to click once for 8 ½ x 11 and once for 11 x 17. However, for copiers we placed at FM sites and where our (cost-per-copy) prices to customers were based on the quantity of “clicks”, we had those copiers, whenever and wherever possible, set up to click “once” for 8 ½ x 11 and “twice” for 11 x 17. We were certainly willing to pay 2x clicks for 11 x 17 because our pricing (to our customers) for 11 x 17 clicks was significantly greater than the service (click) cost we had to pay (to the copier-service company) when the meter clicked twice. Sounds to me like Vince ought to spend more time with Print-for-Pay companies (reprographics companies) who acquire copiers (multi-function systems) for FM and MPS deals! Best wishes to Vince for a Happy, Healthy, Productive, Prosperous New Year.

Okay, here’s Vince’s article…..

“Why is single clicking an 11×17 on a “copier” legal?” (January 7, 2012)

I was talking to my VP of Service, Mike McLaughlin the other day and he posed the question why is it legal to set a Copier \ MFD’s meter to only make a single meter click on an 11×17 page when it is twice the size of a standard Letter (8 1/2 x 11) page? That would be like having the option to set your car’s odometer to only count every other mile when it ran on certain roads, or when it was driven by certain drivers. That would actually be against the law, because you would be defrauding the person who would buy that car after you. Isn’t that the same on a copier? Would it be OK if Airplanes only counted certain hours that they flew? How would that effect their maintenance or resale value? As a consumer would you be OK flying on that plane? What if you as a consumer couldn’t tell which cars or planes had their meters “adjusted” to only count a portion of what they should? I would want to know so that I could make an informed choice, wouldn’t you?

Why would anyone want to set up the Total (main) Copier meter to single click an 11×17 page? There is really only one small segment of the business community that wants their copiers set up this way, and that is “Print for Pay”, or Quick Printers. Because they both sell and are charge by the page, it is the printing industry that insists on having their copiers \ MFDs set to single click on 11×17. Their is no other group that I can think of that really cares about it. Now I don’t dislike Print for Pay companies. I made a good living selling to Print for Pay when I was a Color Sales Specialist. Print for Pay buys top of the line equipment, often with high end accessories that is why sales people like them. On the other hand Print for Pay businesses (thanks to Larry Hunt) expect uber-competitive pricing (for equipment and service) and demand a high level of service. They are one of the few customer who will pull out a “loop” to show you an imperfection in a copy or print that can not be seen with the naked eye. Print for Pay companies are also notorious for not paying their service on time, or wanting to negotiate down their overages. Now I realize that this is a generalization and that there are some P4P companies that do pay in full and on time, but in my experience they are more the exception rather than the norm.

So why should one small business segment get to dictate to all copier manufactures that they have to have this “feature” to short the total meter? If these companies did a normal amount of 11×17 that a typical business did, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. But most of these Printers run all of their 8 1/2 x 11 jobs two up on 11×17 paper and they cut them in half after they are printed or copied. This cuts their cost in half, which is great for them but who suffers? The consumer who buys a used copier in the aftermarket! These print for pay shops put a lot of clicks on their copiers \ MFDs. When you consider that the actual total clicks could be twice what the total meter reads these MFDs should be junked and not resold. This sure seems to fit the definition of fraud, IMHO.

We have state divisions of weights & measures, and the attorney generals have offices of fraud and consumer affairs to stop this kind of abuse for cars, and trucks, and planes, and scales. But not copiers or MFDs at least not yet. I understand that Print for Pay is very competitive business, but I think allowing them to set their total meter to count 11×17 (which is twice the size of the standard 8 1/2 x 11) as one click is wrong.

That’s my $0.02

Vince McHugh

Quick bio of the article’s author ….

My Name is Vince McHugh.

I have worked in the “copier” industry for 25 years.

I have been a Technician, a Salesman, A Systems Engineer, and an Executive.

I have worked for 2 Major Corporations in this industry (Ricoh & 3M).

I currently work for a Large Independent Dealer in New England.


Vince McHugh’s blog-site is located at:

1 comment:

  1. Well said on the double click charge on FM's. Hah!